FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 16 2015
Contact: Stephanie Fleming, (573) 526-0949
Kander Stops Scammer from Preying on Seniors
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today ordered Lucas Wayne Branstetter of Kingdom City, Mo., to stop doing business after he defrauded a senior investor he had befriended of at least $81,000 as part of a settlement collection scam.
According to the order, Branstetter was hired in 2009 to paint the interior of a home owned by a 64-year- old resident. While painting the home, Branstetter allegedly befriended the Missouri resident, ultimately using their friendship to live in the house and convince the owner to give him money to pay child support and other personal expenses.
"Before risking your hard-earned savings to fraud, I encourage all Missourians first to call my office when approached with an investment opportunity," Kander said. "It doesn’t matter how well you know the person offering the opportunity, checking the registration status of the person selling you an investment can help protect you from losing your retirement safety."
The order alleges Branstetter told the victim about legal settlements he claimed he was going to receive, and that he needed funds to pay for fees associated with the settlements. Branstetter claimed he would be receiving more than $500,000 from settlements, which he promised the Missouri resident he would use as repayment for funds he’d been provided plus an additional 5 – 24 percent in interest. Over time, the Missouri resident provided at least $81,000 to Branstetter, a portion of which was used to make trips to multiple states under the assumption he would be collecting the settlements.
According to the order, the Missouri resident has never received a repayment from Branstetter and discovered that Branstetter had stolen and forged additional checks. Branstetter pled guilty to forgery in 2011 and later pled guilty to robbery of a postal employee in a separate matter in 2014.
For more information, call 1-800-721-7996 or visit www.MissouriSafeSavings.com.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.